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Richard H. Stafford

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Stafford, Richard H. PACIFIC BEACH -- Richard H. Stafford, a resident of Pacific Beach since moving to the area in 1953, passed away on March 14th, following a brief illness with pneumonia. He was 91. Mr. Stafford was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet program in 1941 after completing the then required two years of college. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps on Christmas Eve 1942 at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, TX. He served in the Pacific Theatre and was assigned to inactive duty after four years of service. Before returning to the University of Minnesota, Stafford was a civilian flight instructor as well as a co-pilot for Northwest Airlines. He remained active as a Marine Corps reservist serving last as Executive Officer of VMF 123, a jet fighter squadron based at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station. He retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy in 1952, and practiced community pharmacy in San Diego until he retired in 1984. He co-founded Delta Drug in Point Loma in 1957 which he operated until the time of his retirement. Mr. Stafford was active in professional pharmacy affairs throughout his career. He served as President of the San Diego County Pharmacist Association, as Trustee of the California Pharmacist Association representing San Diego and Imperial Counties, as a member of the California State Board of Pharmacy Education Committee and as a Clinical Instructor with the University of California School of Pharmacy and twice received the San Diego County Pharmacist of the Year award. Upon his retirement he became an active volunteer in the San Diego Air and Space Museum Restoration Shop. He is survived by daughters Deborah Benson (Bill) of Ramona; Patricia Vachal (Paul) of Coronado; a son Richard G. Stafford (Dee) of Mt. Laguna; and six adult grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Doris and daughter Maureen. A Memorial Service is planned for April 6th at Christ Lutheran Church in Pacific Beach. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the San Diego Air and Space Museum/ Restoration Shop.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune from Mar. 27 to Apr. 2, 2013
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